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Indoor Girl Rides a Bike

Her loins burned and her thighs quivered.

Sounds like a line from a girl porn book.  Er, not exactly at all.  But I’ll get to that.

In my mind, I imagine that I’m this earthy mama who strolls through fields blowing dandelions.  I Instagram photos of my fingers crumbling damp earth as I plant my organic garden and feed the soil with homemade compost.  I press my nose against blossoms and linger over sunbeams falling on perfect patches of my happy yard.  I write blog posts in a wicker lawn chair as the breeze gently tickles my ears.

In my mind.

In reality, I tried composting with worms for a couple of years and when I spread it on my garden, my dog spent hours rolling in the worm poopy goodness.  Then one day I overfed the little guys and they choked on an entire loaf of bread and died.  I lied to my son and told him that our little worm friends crawled away to live in the soil.

Each year I plant a garden then watch it die from the comfort of my air conditioned sunroom, cuz I live in Georgia and who the heck would wade out into that humidity and buzzing cloud of mosquitos for one stinkin’ tomato?

I’m allergic to all living things, and if survival of the fittest applied to middle class American humans, I’d be screwed.  My toes curl if they touch grass.  I itch.  I chafe.  Me no likey outside.  When my kids ask if we can play outside, a part of me dies a little.  I stifle the sigh inside and choke out an assent.  Pulling on my big girl panties, I laugh and have fun, counting down the minutes till we can return to the house.

I really, really love God.  I’m impressed with His work.  Really.  But I’m just really thankful that He made people who made sofas and coffee mugs.

Last fall, in a stunning burst of selflessness and stupidity, I agreed to get bikes for the whole fam.  I have not owned a bike since I was about twelve, but I found myself getting excited about my shiny new purple bike with the basket in front.  The Melanie in my mind could picture cruising around our town with the wind in my hair, library books in the basket, maybe a baguette.

Again, in my mind.  We took a handful of rides as a family, then our bikes basically served as garage cloggers all winter and spring.  No longer able to hold cars, our garage became a tangle of wheels and helmets.  Last week, I had a moment of insanity cool mom-oscity and decided on a whim to take those bikes for a whirl.

We clicked on helmets, hooked up Evie’s toddler carriage, adjusted seats, and set out.  To the playground!  I was awesome mom.  Elliott declared this the funnest of all days.  Hashtag “winning.”

And then we left the driveway.

Our house lies at the bottom of a small Everest of a hill.  With the carriage attached to the back of my bike, my underused quads started freaking out about the exorbitant task ahead.  Yard by yard, we crept up the hill, with my five-year-old pedaling loops around me shouting gleefully, “You’ve got it, Mommy!  You can do it!”  God bless him.  I love him so, and yes, yes, I did in fact scream hysterically at him when he swerved within a three foot radius of my wobbly little performance.  “Back off!  I mean, I love you!  Back OFFFF!”

I made it to the top of the hill and realized that I was not properly outfitted for this excursion, wearing ten-year-old capri jeans and worn out TOMS.  The jeans are a little too stretched out and low cut, and I spent half the bike ride trying to pull my shirt down over the back of them to keep my daughter in the carriage, the neighbors, and anyone else on the path from cracking a smile, cracking an egg, cracking up, doing crack, crack crack crack.

After endless rotations of spokes and rubber, we pulled up to the park in a deluge of yellow pine pollen.  We swang (It’s a word, shut up.).  We slid.  We sneezed.  Boogers sprayed and we reveled in the outdoor pollen wonderland.  For about ten minutes.  Then we climbed back on those instruments of torture, those thigh masterers, and pedaled home.

On the final stretch in our neighborhood, I kicked it up a notch, leaving my son in the dust.  I knew that if I didn’t grind it hard up the hill, the carriage on the back of my bike would pull me back down and I’d have to call my husband and let him know that I’m never coming home.  I gave it all I had, blowing past my five-year-old and ignoring his cries of “Mommy WAIT FOR ME!”

We all made it safely back to the house, and I made everyone triple chocolate brownie sundaes, cuz duh, exercise leads to massive quantities of chocolate.  I sat down and noticed an unpleasant sensation in the crotchular area.  Honestly, how do guys do this?

Three days later, I’m still in pain.  Between the sinusy pollen stuff and the upper, upper thigh issues, methinks this indoor girl needs to do what I do best.  I’ll let you know when I figure out what that is.  We can rule out gardening and cycling.


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